Sunday, October 23, 2005

Earthquakes & Tremors Continue.....

We have now had about 20 earthquakes / tremors in the last 3 or 4 days. The worst thing is, you just start getting over it and calming down and then another comes. The small ones are not a major problem but the issue is this; we have experienced a big one (relatively speaking) now and the fear is, as soon as one starts, it will lead to one of the big ones. Living on edge like this is not healthy. Sleep is at a premium and to be honest, I am exhausted, I really need a good nights sleep. If I have had 10 hours sleep in the last 3 days I would be suprised. We have essentials lined up by the door, warm clothes, a bit of food and drink and my laptop so, if worst came to worst, I could work at some point. A week ago I thought I was the luckiest man alive, maybe I still do but my current outlook on life is not the most positive it has ever been. Fear is not a pleasant thing. When you see what has happened in Pakistan as a result of an earthquake, it does actually make you realise how lightly we have got away so far.
On a slightly lighter note (for us), we have now heard about the worst injury from the "big one". A woman was so scared that she ran out of her house, in to the road and was hit by a car! That my friends is a bad day.
Keep Safe

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Horror Day (updated)

Just a quick update as there has been quite a lot happening. Most of you may know the biggest news from me already, we had 8 earthquakes in as many hours yesterday, two of which were huge. It was without doubt the most frightened I have been in my entire life (or a very close second to when I broke my back). It sounds odd but after the first two we actually packed some provisions and clothing in to the car in case of the eventuality of the house coming down (following the first, there was a real fear this may happen). The last one happend at about 5am this morning. As you can imagine, I did not get a lot of sleep, luckily I am off work for a few days so did not have an early start.
I just found this on the internet:

Western Greece rattled by earthquake
Two strong quakes, measuring 6.0 and 5.2 on the Richter scale, struck the undersea area off the coast of Zakynthos in the Ionian Sea yesterday afternoon, causing widespread damage but no injuries. The quakes, which occurred at around 6.30 p.m. in close succession, caused sections of the Kokkinos Vrachos (Red Rock) on the island to crumble while cornices fell off old houses and windows were smashed.
I then loooked on the internet for what these numbers actually mean and we seem to fit into the borderline for two categories:
  • 5.4-6.0 - Slight damage to well-designed buildings. Can cause major damage to poorly constructed buildings over small regions. (guess which Greece falls in to!)
  • 6.0-6.9 - Can be destructive in areas up to about 100 kilometers across where people live.
Scary stuff indeed...
The reason I had four days off work was that we had planned to go on a Motorbike tour of Northern Greece and see Meteora which is an incredible range of Monastaries high up on "columns" of mountains. On the way, my back failed me so we ended up returning home before we were even close. A huge disappointment. I do not think it was connected to my accident and was possibly a trapped nerve or similar.
Keep Safe.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

I bought myself a Xmas present

So, I have just made the biggest single purchase (houses aside!) I have ever done. Thank you to Party Poker and Full Tilt Poker! A nice shiny new BMW F650GS. After much debating with Adrien as to the best bike to go for, he swayed me from the Ducati MultiStrada to the bike pictured above. And I am glad. I got a superb deal, as well as discount, they "threw in" heated hand grips, ABS, etc. I also purchased a lovely set of BMW panniers, a Givi top box (was about the same price as the BMW one but was 46 litres as opposed to 31 litres. No contest!). They also gave me handle bar grip covers as well as a few other bits. No my only problem is convincing Mum that I will (probably) not kill myself on it. My first trip is already being planeed, a ride over to France via Italy (and possibly Switzerland). Still planning an ideal route though. I am thinking an overnight stop in Lyon or Torino would work well....
Most of the tourists have about gone home now, I am pretty glad to be honest.
Our Greek lessons have restarted and I am enjoying getting back in to the swing of that. Despite that, my frustrations with some parts of Greek life continue. (although no regrets at all!) I had to take the best part of two days off work this week because the internet failed. The plan was to fix it immediately but by the time the engineer managed to get out of bed and get here (from Athens) two days had past. I love the Greeks, I really do however, sometimes, you just want to throttle some of them. Their laid back attitude can be a positive and a negative.
Justine thinks so even more as she split up with her "boyfriend". They only went out a few times but he spits and smokes too much apparently.
Justine has also managed to get a job sorted for next year already which is pretty good. Considerably bettter wages than last year so that is great news.
I have now watched all of the "Lost" DVD's and what a great series. It started out a little weird but I have real gotten in to it.
Anyway, as the tourist season is coming to an end, that means McDonalds, Pizza Hut and KFC are about to close for the winter so, a Pepperoni Pizza is calling my name.
Keep safe.

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